Hi guys. Candy here. Internet has been a luxury (expensive on the ship!) and we have devoted nearly all of that online time to Tim’s grading responsibilities. Then, during our first week in Ireland, we had numerous technical difficulties with the site, which I believe I have now fixed.
What that means for you, our lovely blog followers, is that you are about to get slammed with a few posts all at once as we try to catch you up on our travels in the past 2+ weeks (Wow! Has it already been that long?).
So here is the first installment from our trip–the section I’m calling travel and London.
Tim posted bits of our experience in London, but there is more to show and also to tell. When we finally arrived in London at 2pm (8.26.15), about four hours later than anticipated due to the hangar fire at the Dublin airport that shut down its runway, we had been traveling straight since 10:30am the previous day (of course, that doesn’t count the 6-time-zone leap ahead) and eagerly checked into our hotel near London Heathrow. The rest of that day (Wednesday) was a blur…mostly catching up on sleep, Tim grading, and room service food.
Thursday was a laidback day for the doctors Rice, as we slept some, graded some, walked around some, and eventually enjoyed wonderful Indian cuisine from the Madhu restaurant in the hotel. Amazing! We thoroughly enjoyed the new experience.
In typical Rice fashion, we decided that Friday (8.28.15) was the day into which we should jam everything we wanted to see or do. So we left our hotel room at 9am (those of you who know anything about our night owl patterns can sympathize!) and took a bus to the tube and the tube to the London Eye. It was really neat to view London from such heights, and although I wished it could have rotated faster and stopped while we were on top, like a ferris wheel (I always want transportation-related things to go faster!), it was an experience we definitely thought was worthwhile.
We had decided that in order to see a few of the sights around central London without major transportation concerns that we would buy seats on one of those hop-on, hop-off double-decker, open-top buses. Included in the price was a river cruise from Big Ben to the London Bridge, which was enjoyable despite the utter lack of air conditioning or even open windows. Since overcoming Lyme Disease my body still has difficulty regulating temperature, and becoming overheated takes a big toll on my energy levels. But we had fun seeing the sights from the Thames and managed to walk a good amount as well.
Friday was also a wonderful day for Tim to catch up with a few buddies from his days at Raquette Lake Boys Camp in upstate New York. I had the pleasure of meeting these folks and getting to know them in person, adding to what Tim had shared about them with me over the years. We met up with David Rubin for lunch at Victoria Station and then later in the afternoon took a train to Bishop’s Stortford (about an hour NW of London) to visit Martin Bushell and his lovely wife Vicki for a home-cooked dinner of lamb, salad, and vegetarian nut-mash. Vicki is an osteopath, and with Martin she runs a multi-practitioner practice out of the first floor of their home. They are both into horses, which I found particularly enjoyable, having been raised on a horse farm in Minnesota and madly in love with horses as a young girl. Oh, and Martin made a wonderful Apple Tarte Tatin. It. Was. Exquisite! With custard as well. A wonderful meal and a great time with Martin, Vicki, and their dogs Jake and Brindle.
To close the day, we caught the last train back to London at 10pm, got on the tube, and encountered our final adventure for the day when the tube service was abruptly terminated four stops before our destination. We were forced to get off the train and find alternate transportation to our hotel, at around 11:30pm. All they could tell us was that “a man was under the train at Hatton Cross,” which was our stop. So, a quick look around outside and asking a few local tube riders confirmed that a bus directly to our destination was not going to be possible, and we decided to leverage this opportunity to test yet another form of London transportation: the black cab. We ended up splitting the fare with a funny, drunk Scotsman and his buddy from Boston with whom he was traveling Europe. The cab conversation was especially amusing, and we eventually made it to our hotel.
Enjoy the photos.